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Lean Integration: An Integration Factory Approach to Business Agility

By John J. Schmidt, David Lyle

Published by Addison-Wesley Professional

Published Date: May 18, 2010


Lean Integration is an excellent resource for anyone struggling with the challenges of performing integration for a complex enterprise.”

—Steve J. Dennis, Integration Competency Center Director, Nike

Use Lean Techniques to Integrate Enterprise Systems Faster, with Far Less Cost and Risk


By some estimates, 40 percent of IT budgets are devoted to integration. However, most organizations still attack integration on a project-by-project basis, causing unnecessary expense, waste, risk, and delay. They struggle with integration “hairballs”: complex point-to-point information exchanges that are expensive to maintain, difficult to change, and unpredictable in operation.


The solution is Lean Integration. This book demonstrates how to use proven “lean” techniques to take control over the entire integration process. John Schmidt and David Lyle show how to establish “integration factories” that leverage the powerful benefits of repeatability and continuous improvement across every integration project you undertake.


Drawing on their immense experience, Schmidt and Lyle bring together best practices; solid management principles; and specific, measurable actions for streamlining integration development and maintenance.


Whether you’re an IT manager, project leader, architect, analyst, or developer, this book will help you systematically improve the way you integrate—adding value that is both substantial and sustainable.


Coverage includes

  • Treating integration as a business strategy and implementing management disciplines that systematically address its people, process, policy, and technology dimensions
  • Providing maximum business flexibility and supporting rapid change without compromising stability, quality, control, or efficiency
  • Applying improvements incrementally without “Boiling the Ocean”
  • Automating processes so you can deliver IT solutions faster—while avoiding the pitfalls of automation
  • Building in both data and integration quality up front, rather than inspecting quality in later
  • More than a dozen in-depth case studies that show how real organizations are applying Lean Integration practices and the lessons they’ve learned

Visit for additional resources, including more case studies, best practices, templates, software demos, and reference links, plus a direct connection to lean integration practitioners worldwide.

Table of Contents

List of Figures and Tables xv

Foreword xix

Preface xxiii

Acknowledgments xxvii

About the Authors xxix

Introduction xxxi


Part I: Executive Summary 1


Chapter 1: What Is Lean Integration and Why Is It Important? 3

Constant Rapid Change and Organizational Agility 5

The Case for Lean Integration 9

What Is Integration? 11

Integration Maturity Levels 14

Economies of Scale (the Integration Market) 16

Getting Started: Incremental Implementation without “Boiling the Ocean” 20


Chapter 2: A Brief History of Lean 23

The Lean System 29

The Lean Practices 34

Lean Application Trends 41

Case Study: The Value of Lean in Service Industries 44


Chapter 3: The Integration Factory 45

What Is an Integration Factory? 46

The Integration Factory as an Element of an ICC 52

How Does the Integration Factory Work? 55

Integration Factories as Self-Service ICCs 64


Part II: Applying Lean Principles 67


Chapter 4: Focus on the Customer and Eliminate Waste 69

Focus on the Customer 70

Integration Wastes 74

Case Study: Waste Elimination at Clicks-and-Bricks 81

Case Study: Waste Elimination at Big Bank 85

Focus on the Integration Value Chain 87


Chapter 5: Continuously Improve 89

Continuous Learning and Knowledge Management 90

Case Study: Continuous Improvement at Clicks-and-Bricks 91


Chapter 6: Empower the Team 103

What Is a Team? 104

Examples of Empowered Teams in Software 107

Creating an Empowered Lean Integration Team 109

Leadership and Vision 112

Important Practices That Help Enable Empowered Teams 117

Organizing the Team: Thoughts on Organizational Structures 120

Case Study: Smith & Nephew–Integrating Lean Principles with Data Quality 122


Chapter 7: Optimize the Whole 131

Optimize the Whole Rather than Optimize the Parts 132

What Is “the Whole”? An Introduction to Value Stream Mapping 134

Selecting Metrics to Optimize the Whole 139


Chapter 8: Plan for Change and Mass-Customize 145

Techniques for Enabling Constant Change 146

Mass Customization 152

Case Study: Using Mass Customization 159


Chapter 9: Automate Processes and Deliver Fast 163

Pitfalls of Automation–Building “Stuff” Faster 164

Delivering Fast 167

Automating Processes–Using the Computer to Make Complexity Manageable 169

Case Study: Automating Processes at Wells Fargo Home Mortgage 174


Chapter 10: Build Quality In 181

Two Areas of Quality: Data Quality and Integration Quality 182

Quality Evolution and Lean 184

Data Quality 185

Integration Quality 192

Case Study: Building Quality In at a Utility Company ICC 198


Part III: Implementation Practices 203


Chapter 11: Financial Management 205

Challenges 207

Activities 214

Business Case Development 215

Case Study: A “Creating the Wave” Investment Strategy 236

Case Study: Enterprise Data Warehouse Rationalization Business Case 238

Chargeback Accounting 240

Chargeback Case Studies 250


Chapter 12: Integration Methodology 253

Activities 256

Agile versus Lean Methodology 263

Case Study in Simplicity: The Architecture of the Web and REST versus SOA 269

Engagement Services Management 271

Case Study: Integration Methodology in a Decentralized Enterprise 274


Chapter 13: Metadata Management 281

Metadata Scope for Lean Integration 284

Metadata Management Framework 285

Challenges 289

Prerequisites 292

Industry Practices 293

Activities 295


Chapter 14: Information Architecture 301

Challenges 304

Prerequisites 308

Activities 309

Methodology 310

Information Architecture Models 312

Data at Rest 317


Chapter 15: Business Process Management 321

Data-in-Motion Models 324

Activities 326

Architecture 328

Case Study: The Post Closing Systems Architecture 330


Chapter 16: Modeling Management 333

Service-Oriented Architecture Can Create a New Hairball 336

Challenges 339

Coupling and Cohesion Framework 343

Canonical Modeling Techniques 345

Navigating the Modeling Layers 350

Activities 352

Case Study: European Interoperability Framework 357

Case Study: Object-Relational Mismatch 359


Chapter 17: Integration Systems 361

What Is an Integration System? 362

Integration Systems Taxonomy 364

Challenges 369

Industry Practices 370

Activities 371

Portfolio Rationalization 378


Appendix A: Lean Terminology 387


Appendix B: Integration Laws 395

Law #1: The Whole Is Greater than the Sum of Its Parts 395

Law #2: There Is No End State 396

Law #3: There Are No Universal Standards 396

Law #4: Information Adapts to Meet Local Needs 397

Law #5: All Details Are Relevant 397


Appendix C: Glossary 399

Common Acronyms 399

Definitions 400


Index 409